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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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HISTORY    AS    A    BRANCH    OF    LITERATURE

the spectacle that an historical situation presented.
Macaulay was less interested in natural scenery than in
the landscape as man has made it perhaps, and it has been
said of him that even in the case of a town he liked to
describe not so much the way it sat into the landscape
but rather its human and commercial physiognomy.
Carlyle is a more elaborate pictorial artist, able to repro- ,
duce scenery and mass movements of men or armies in
graphic manner; and he could describe " with surpassing
power the grand operations of nature in its more
terrible aspects " or reproduce the atmosphere of a
panic situation* or a passionate moment or a gentle
scene. The American author, Parkman, makes a great
use of scenery as part of the apparatus of historical
reconstruction.

At a stage removed from this the literary historian
had an eye for dramatic situations and dramatic group-
ings ; and, whether he compared himself with an ancient
historian or with the writer of an epic, a drama or a
novel, he was inclined by his literary sympathies to stress
the portrayal of character and the reflection on human
vicissitude; though Carlyle would show a profounder
feeling than Macaulay here, and^not only added vivid
touches to the picture of the outer man, but entered
more subtly into the sympathetic description of inner
experience. Carlyle now "surveys mankind from an
Olympian height", now walks at the side of his hero,
now enters into his internal life; and some of his
creations or resurrections, like his portrait of Frederick
William I of Prussia are extraordinary artistic achieve-
ments. Beyond this point, however, these writers were

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